Richard Yates was born in 1926 in Yonkers, New York.After serving in the US Army during the Second World War, he worked as a publicity writer for the Remington Rand Corporation, and for a brief period in the sixties as a speech writer for Senator Robert Kennedy. His prize-winning stories first appeared in 1953 and his first novel, Revolutionary Road, was nominated for the National Book Award in 1961.He is the author of eight other works, including the novels A Good School, The Easter Parade and Disturbing the Peace, and two collections of short stories, Eleven Kinds of Loneliness and Liars in Love.Richard Yates was twice divorced and the father of three daughters. He died in 1992. Lionel Shriver was born in the United States and now lives in London. She is the author of The Female of the Species, Checker and the Derailleurs, The Bleeding Heart , Ordinary Decent Criminals, A Perfectly Good Family, Double Fault, The Post-Birthday World, So Much for That and The New Republic. Her seventh novel, We Need to Talk About Kevin, won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2005.